The new recording of Ravel's complete Daphnis et Chloé by Les Siècles, Ensemble Aedes and François-Xavier Roth was an Editor's Choice in the June issue, with Gramophone's Mark Pullinger particularly beguiled by their novel use of period instruments: 'We don’t know what the orchestral sound was like at its 1912 Paris premiere… but many listeners will be familiar with the 1959 LSO recording by the original conductor, Pierre Monteux, long a treasure of the Decca catalogue. Comparisons are instructive. Les Siècles’ French-built woodwind and brass instruments from the early 20th century (documented in the booklet) provide greater tonal sweetness, especially the Selmer trumpets, which don’t dominate textures as much as the incisive LSO brass. Lean gut strings achieve feathery lightness. The "Danse guerrière" is terrific, particularly the sinuous clarinet, juicy contrabassoon and dusky alto flute.'
Harmonia Mundi have produced a fascinating interview with Roth, in which he explains his new approach to this well-known score:
To find out more about this recording, and to buy, visit: harmoniamundi.com